skinnyfats

A blog about life after weight loss.


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Three Great Autumn Exercises for Women by Guest Blogger Jim Rollince

Most of the workouts you read here are geared toward men. Today, guest blogger Jim Rollince of Gym Source has some fat-blasting exercises for women, just in time for fall! Enjoy!

 

Now that bikini season is over and fall is here, many women are tempted to forgo exercising. However, inactivity coupled with too many pumpkin spice lattes can lead to increased weight gain and decreased muscle tone and fitness. There are many fun fall indoor and outdoor exercises that can help women achieve their fitness goals.

 

Most women already know about the standard outdoor exercises, walking, running, and biking. These exercises can be performed on a crisp fall day, and women can have fun doing them. However, there are many other outdoor exercises. The three examples listed below can be performed in the fall and provide exceptional fitness benefits for women.

 

Tricep Extension: Many women focus on aerobic exercise, to the detriment of strength training. However, strong arms are healthy, and help women look great. In order to perform triceps extension, take a weight or a weighted object such as a can of soup outdoors. Find a chair or a bench and sit with your feet firmly planted on the ground. Grab the weight or object in both hands, lift it above your head slowly, and slowly bring it back down. Perform ten repetitions, take a short break, and repeat.

 

McGill Curl-Up: In addition to helping women have flatter stomachs, core muscles are important in keeping women’s backs strong and healthy. Grab an exercise mat and find a flat surface outdoors. Lie flat on your back, with your right knee bent and your left leg straight. Raise your head and shoulders, while keeping your lower back flat. Hold this position for up to ten seconds, and then slowly bring your head and neck back down. Perform this exercise five times on each side.

Photo courtesy of ecoachbiggi.com

 

Hip Raise:  The hip raise helps women achieve the strong glutes that look great in the jeans and khakis often worn in the fall. Strong glutes also help women maintain proper balance. To perform hip raises, you can remain on the exercise mat used in the McGill curl-up. Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet firmly planted on the floor. Raise your hips while squeezing your glutes and hold for two to five seconds, then release and bring your hips back down to the mat. Try to do at least ten repetitions, take a short break, and repeat.

 

Of course, many fall days are rainy and prohibit outdoor exercise. Luckily, the three exercises listed above can easily be performed indoors. In order to maintain fitness on bad weather days, it is a good investment to purchase quality equipment for home gyms.

 

Exercising in the fall, both indoors and outdoors, can be fun and can help women reach their fitness goals and look great. Take some extra time this season to exercise, indoors or out!

 

Jim Rollince is a member of the creative writing department of Gym Source.He enjoys writing about Fitness, Nutrition, and many other related topics.



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A Momentum Monday Workout

Monday. The very mention of it makes people cringe, as the weekend ends too quickly and the work week arrives like a hammer to the temple. The Carpenters even wrote a song about it. So did The Mamas & the Papas.

Most of us view Mondays like this:

Courtesy of Some Ecards.

Monday doesn’t have to be a drag. Use Monday to establish fitness momentum, especially if you tend to skip the gym on the weekends. Monday is a weekly chance to push the reset button on your health, to hit the ground running and burn those weekend calories. Don’t take it for granted.

Carpe Monday with this circuit routine. This is a great Monday workout because it is relatively short (30-40 minutes), and all you will need is a pair of dumbbells and a bench. Remember to move from one exercise to the next, then start back at the beginning. Rest 10-15 seconds between exercises and 45-60 seconds between circuits.

The Circuit:

  • Dumbbell Bench Press – 4×12
  • Kneeling Supported Dumbbell Row – 4×12 per arm
  • Dumbbell Squat – 4×10
  • Single-arm Dumbbell Shoulder Press – 4×12 per arm
  • Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extension – 4×12
  • Standing Dumbbell Curl – 4×10 per arm

Not only will this routine blast your upper body, but you will feel fantastic, fit, and refreshed on Tuesday morning!

Open Discussion: What is your favorite Monday workout?

 


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Engagement Photo Fun

Earlier this week, we told you we were having our engagement photos taken Wednesday night. Here is the story of our night.

Our friends Rudy and Tammi, aka The Married Photogs, took our pictures. This was part of a barter between them and Liz, as she baked their wedding cake and desserts last year. They made us feel comfortable and relaxed the whole time, and their creativity and attention to detail was impressive.

Fortune smiled upon us in the form of good weather. In southwest Ohio, October is its own schizophrenic season. You get a little spring, a heaping scoop of fall, and a dash of winter–sometimes all in one day. These fluctuations make it hard to pick an outfit in the morning. Wednesday was sunny and the thermometer steadied between 70-75 degrees.

We started our photo session at Riverside Park in northern Kentucky. Riverside overlooks the Ohio River, hence the clever name, and allows for a spectacular view of downtown Cincinnati. Red and orange leaves covered the park’s lawn as the late afternoon sun shined through the trees. The scene was more picturesque than we could have hoped for.

We had a little fun during the park photos by putting on Cincinnati Bengals hoodies and striking Heisman poses. Liz even pretended to tackle me in one of them. Our next stop was the historic Roebling Bridge.

Photo of the Roebling taken by the Married Photogs.

Before our bridge pictures, we had to perform a wardrobe change in the car. This was tricky for Liz, as she was switching from a sweater and jeans to a black and gray dress. We were in a public park, so before she could perform her gymnastic costume change, we waited for an old man parked behind us listening to the radio to leave. Then a group of four people meandered around the park in the vicinity of our car. I held up my blazer to hide Liz from her unintended audience.

The bridge session was magical. The sun had set and the city lights served for a tremendous background. I can’t wait to see how those photos turn out. The last part of our night was set at Cincinnati’s Fountain Square. Again, we got lucky. Not many people were on the Square, and the fountain was running. The four of us were approached by a homeless man who offered to take “real pictures” for a dollar. His invasion of our time and space annoyed us, but he left in short order.

After the shoot, we celebrated with pomegranate margaritas and tomato basil flat bread at our favorite restaurant. We had reached an important milestone on the way to our wedding, and we hit our fitness goals along the way. What fantastic reasons to raise a glass.


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The Shredding for the Wedding Part One: Getting Photo Fit

We are having our engagement photos taken this week. These pictures are going to last forever, and forever is a long time, so we have been ultra-motivated to hit the gym hard the last two months. We’ve been doing the eight-week Wedding Workout from the Men’s Health Big Book of Exercises. These circuit-style routines are designed to give you broader shoulders and a slimmer waistline. Who doesn’t want that?

In the interest of space, we are not going to list out all of the exercises. Over the last eight weeks, we did six different circuits and we don’t want to bore you with the details of the War and Peace of workouts. If you really want the entire workout, shoot us an email and we will send it to you.

Enough logistics. On to the highlights.

  • Pushups Galore. Pushups are a simple, superb way to rock your chest, shoulders, and arms. If you try the wedding workout, expect to do a lot of them and expect to make tremendous gains. Liz, who could only do knee pushups a couple of months ago, worked her way up to a set of 12.
  • Leg Your Pardon. Our legs got rocked over the last eight weeks. We did split squats, single-leg squats, pistol squats, dumbbell step-ups, and box jumps. Some days it felt like we were doing them all at once. Liz noticed her legs have more tone than before, and for the first time I can recall, lifting weights made my butt sore.
  • Kill the Clock. These workouts take a looooonnngggg time. Clear your schedule and don’t look at the clock. Just work your way through it. We usually agree to spend no more than an hour working out, but we had to abandon that guideline. Each time we hit 60 minutes, one of us would look at the other and say “Engagement photos” to remind us why we were sticking it out.

  • 100 Squat Thrusts is nothing to be afraid of. The prospect frightened us, but we found we could knock them out in about six or seven minutes.
  • Five sets of 30 Squat Thrusts is exhausting. The most grueling part of the workout was knowing we had to face 30 squat thrusts at the end of each round of one of the circuits. But we did them, and we slept well each night we did.
  • Ab Grabber. The Wedding Workout is chock full of ab exercises, mostly static ones like planks and roll-outs. These will make your abs scream during the workout, the day after the workout, and most of the weekend. Be ready.

If you hadn’t put this together already, let us make it clear: the wedding workout is tough. We’re talking punch in the jaw tough. Cold shower on a Monday morning tough. But you if you try it, you will notice results.

We saw some results on the scale: over the course of eight weeks, Liz lost seven pounds, and I lost six. More importantly, both of us feel stronger, have more defined arms and shoulders, and we feel great on the eve of our engagement photos. And that’s the point of any workout, isn’t it? To look better, feel better, and have the confidence to take on something as mundane as a day at the office or as monumental as photographs that will last a lifetime. We’ll pick up this workout again before the big day.


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A Race With No Time

In late September, I ran the Race for the Cure in downtown Cincinnati. I was reticent to register because I hadn’t run a race since I ran a half marathon in 2011, but my co-workers pressured me into it. I’m glad they did.

I was apprehensive to run for a couple of reasons. I had a strange knee problem the late summer of 2011. According to an orthopedic doctor, my left patellar tendon is too long for my left knee. I hope some day this comes in handy. Maybe Liz will need a patellar tendon transplant and I will have the extra material to give her. Or perhaps this physiological oddity qualifies me for superhero status. Likely? No, but I bought a cape just in case.

Apparently when you have extra patellar tendon, you have more to damage, which I had. So I was instructed to shut it down for a month. Since then, my runs have been much slower, and I have not had the strength to go the distances I had trained myself to. Weaker knee aside, Liz and I began focusing on weight training to tone up.

Running just hadn’t been as important to me as it once had. I was just over it. Take that, running.

This summer, I caught the running bug again. I was unemployed for a short time, and I bore easily. You can only browse LinkedIn and CareerBuilder for so long before you go batty, so I put on my running shoes and picked up the habit. Since then, I’ve been running a couple of times a week. That’s enough for me.

In September, I was sitting in my cube at work typing away when a co-worker asked if I would like to donate to Race for the Cure or run the race. Notice that doing neither was not presented at an option. That’s how seriously the company takes women’s health.

I figured if I was going to give the money, I might as well run the race. So I woke up early on a Saturday morning and put on my game face. I was pumped, primed, and full of energy. I wasn’t just going to run this race, I was going to crush it.

The 5K walkers and runners all started at once, so it took some weaving around older people and strollers, but eventually I hit an outstanding pace. My knee felt fantastic, and I was more focused during this run than I had been in quite some time. I’d love to tell you what my time was, but I don’t know. Our promotions coordinator was tasked with registering the group, and she registered all of us as walkers so no one had a timing chip.

I realized when I got home that my time in this race wasn’t important. What I needed to know is if I could race again, if my leg and my will would hold up. And they did. I am confident that I can race again. Maybe next I will try a 10K.